Welcome to Week 2 – We have a lot to do!

What a week.

Week one of the Trump administration has been a travesty for our country. Trump started out his presidency by:

  • Attacking climate science by placing a gag order on government scientists, eliminating all mention of climate change on government websites and forcing the EPA to start putting out “alternative facts”.
  • Attacking women by proposing to shut down the DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women.
  • Attacking immigrants – by signing executive orders to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall despite nearly a decade of scant numbers of immigrants crossing the border illegally, proposing a tax on Americans purchasing Mexican imports to pay for it, vamping up U.S. deportation forces and causing the biggest rift in U.S.-Mexican diplomacy in decades
  • Attacking Muslims and refugees by issuing a ban on entry into the U.S. of nationals from 7 primarily Muslim countries, conspicuously excluding Saudi Arabia where most of the 9/11 terrorists came from and also countries where Trump holds business interests, and proposing “safe zones” for Syrian refugees outside the U.S. that would be prohibitively difficult and costly to defend.

It is more important than ever for everyday Utahns to stand up for issues like these, and Action Utah is here to help.

This week we will focus on the immigrant/refugee crisis and Muslim ban, but we always have our eye on a range of national issues. Visit our Petitions, Petitions! page for all kinds of quick and easy actions you can take on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, the Utah State Legislative Session has begun, and Action Utah members and volunteers have been busy mobilizing on a number of bills. This week we will be passing along many more actions ordinary Utahns can take to impact our state’s social, health and environmental policies.

On the Hill this week: Ashley Hoopes (Poverty/Homelessness Issues Captain, AU), Robert Gherke (Government Reporter, Salt Lake Tribune), Andrea Matlin (Social Policy Action Team Captain, AU), Tara Rollins (Executive Director, Utah Housing Coalition) and Kate Ferguson (Environmental Policy Action Team Captain, AU).

State Legislative Session – Week 1

It was a great week on the Hill for Action Utah! 

Action Utah volunteers and members got busy this week taking action around state legislation. Our three Action Teams have 8 wonderful Team Captains and over 135 Action Team volunteers! Here’s a glimpse at what we’ve been up to:

  • AU representatives made 10 visits to the Hill to meet with legislators and lobbyists and sit in on and testify at committee hearings.
  • AU representatives conducted meetings with advocacy organizations, lobbyists and legislators, including Rep. Steve Handy (R) and Rep. Becky Edwards (R).
  • Victory for Rep. Edward’s HB 36 Affordable Housing Amendments bill in the House. Stay tuned as HB 36 moves on to the Senate!
  • AU members joined our campaign to call over a dozen legislators and helped delay Rep. Thurston’s undemocratic HB 11 State Boards and Commissions Amendments bill.
  • AU members flooded Sen. Weiler’s Utah voter survey with nearly 1000 responses — more than doubling his total responses!

STAY TUNED!

AU Environmental Policy Action Team Captains Rachel Sweet Martin and Kate Ferguson flank Rep. Steve Handy (R) in his office on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Handy’s clean air bills will hit committee this week. Our Environmental Action Team is working hard to help gather legislative support for these important measures.

HB 11 State Boards & Commissions Amendments will come up for a vote on the House floor once again THIS MORNING. See our URGENT call to action to block this undemocratic bill and stop one-party rule in the executive branch.

Our Social Policy Action Team is asking AU members to help solve the affordable housing crisis by attending the Housing Matters Rally on Feb. 9th(info below) to show their support for Rep. Edwards’ bill.

Meanwhile, our Health Policy Action Team is kicking into gear THIS AFTERNOON as Rep. Moss’ HB 66 Opiate Overdose Response Act Amendments bill hits committee. See our call to action below to gather support for this bill!

 

Events on our Calendar this week:

  • Green Lobby Night, Tuesday 1/31, 6:00-8:00p – Utah Rivers Council / Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club. How to lobby for green issues and critical bills affecting the environment that will come before the legislature in 2017.
  • ACLU’s Community Lobby Training, Wednesday 2/1, 6:00-9:00p– Lobbying tips and preview of legislation related to civil liberties, reproductive freedom, and equality.

Events coming up:

  • Utah Housing Coalition’s “Housing Matters Rally”, Thursday 2/98:30-10:00a in the Capitol Rotunda – come show support Rep. Edwards’ Affordable Housing Amendments bill to help solve the affordable housing crisis.
  • CHAFFETZ Town Hall Meeting, Thursday 2/9, 7:00p at the Cottonwood Heights City Hall – This is your chance to meet Utah Rep. Chaffetz and ask him your questions. Chaffetz has not publicized this event, perhaps in hopes that no one will go. But Action Utah found out about it and is prepping a team of community members (District 3 and other!) to attend and hold Chaffetz accountable. Contact us if you’d like to participate.

Weekly Actions

National Issues

1. Stand up for refugees and against Trump’s Muslim ban – Last week Trump signed executive orders banning entrance to the U.S. to nationals from 7 primarily Muslim countries. Targeting people based on their religion is wrong and unconstitutional. Shutting the doors on some of the most vulnerable people in the world—refugees seeking safety—makes our country look shockingly morally bankrupt.

  • Call on our Senators to voice their opposition to Trump’s Muslim ban by going on the record to reject Trump’s executive orders targeting refugees and immigrants from Muslim countries. So far, both Senators Hatch and Lee have both made only vague statements that indicate their neutrality on the matter. Demand more. Let them know you are opposed to the executive action on refugees. TIPS: Try calling local offices first (numbers listed below). Remember to state that you are a constituent. Say that you oppose the president’s executive order on immigration because it is too broad, doesn’t protect American interests, and circumvents the power of congress.
  • Call on your U.S. Representative to voice their opposition to Trump’s Muslim ban. Rep. Jason Chaffetz gave only a waffling response to Trump’s executive order, outlining vague concerns but commending the President at the same time. Tell your congressional representatives that Trump’s executive order on refugees and immigrants is not okay. If you live in Chaffetz’s district, also demand that he account for Trump business ties in countries not banned. Find your U.S. Representative by clicking here.
  • Remember to call on Rep. Chris Stewart to oppose any legislation to allocate funds to Trump’s border wall.
  • Check our Petitions, Petitions! page regularly for a growing list of petitions to sign, including denouncing the ban on Muslims.

 Call Senator Orrin G. Hatch – DC: (202) 224-5251
Cedar City, UT: tel: (435) 586-8435
Ogden, UT: tel: (801) 625-5672
Provo, UT: tel: (801) 375-7881
Salt Lake City, UT: tel: (801) 524-4380
St. George, UT: tel: (435) 634-1795
Call Senator Mike Lee – DC: (202) 224-5444
Ogden, UT: tel: (801) 392-9633
Salt Lake City, UT: tel: (801) 524-5933
St. George, UT: tel: (435) 628-5514

2. Stop Jeff Sessions for United States Attorney General – On Tuesday, January 31st, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote whether or not to send Senator Jeff Sessions to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote as the next United States Attorney General. His record shows that, if confirmed, he would reverse decades of civil rights progress for women, African Americans, the LGBTQIA community and recent immigrants.

  • Tweet at the Senate Judiciary Committee. Tell them why they should not vote in favor of Senator Sessions’ nomination for U.S. Attorney General. Use hashtag #StopSessions.
  • Call the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Utah’s Sen. Hatch and Sen. Lee.

State Issues

1. Engage the State Legislative Session by taking action to impact Utah policy! Today we need help with HB 66: Opiate Overdose Response Act Amendments (Rep. Moss). This bill removes civil liability for people administering drugs, like Naloxone, that are “opiate antagonists.” Why? Utah is in the top ten nationwide for drug overdose deaths with six state residents dying every week from opioid overdoses (Utah Dept of Health). These numbers have decreased due to advocacy from Representatives like Carol Spackman Moss. HB 66 aims to solve civil liability concerns that result when someone administers drugs, like Naloxone. Any incentive for people to administer opiate antagonists will reduce statewide drug deaths and is a key step for resolving the opiate-abuse epidemic that impacts all Utah citizens.  You can help get this bill passed by:

  • Testify on behalf of this bill – Rep. Carol Spackman Moss is searching for community members willing to testify about this issue before the Health and Human Services Committee THIS AFTERNOON. If you have testimony to share, please contact us immediately.
  • If you can’t testify but want to support this measure, please contact your state representative and ask for support for this measure. Find your state representative here.
  • You can also contact the members of the Health and Human Services Committee to support HB 66 today.

Health and Human Services Committee Members:Email: bdaw@le.utah.govmikekennedy@le.utah.goveredd@le.utah.govsbarlow@le.utah.gov; shollins@le.utah.govrayward@le.utah.govrchouck@le.utah.govkmiles@le.utah.govchall@le.utah.govpray@le.utah.govnormthurston@le.utah.gov
Call/text: 801-850-3608801-358-2362435-760-3177801-289-6699801-363-4257801-440-8765801-891-9292801-621-2690801-560-5394801-573-1774801-725-2719801-477-5348

Say/text something like this (but please add your own details!): 

“I am from (ZIP or DISTRICT #) to support HB66, the Opiate Overdose Response Act Amendments sponsored by Rep. Carol Spackman Moss. Utah has among the highest rate of opiate overdose deaths in the country and Rep. Moss has worked tirelessly to reduce that number through legislation supported by public health data. Please vote yes on HB66.”

2. Oppose Utah Rep. Mike Noel as Head of the BLM – Public lands is a big issue in Utah. State legislator Mike Noel, an outspoken opponent of the BLM for two decades, has made a request to become the next head of the BLM. Sign this petition to join Utah businesses, conservationists and advocates in asking Trump and Ryan Zinke to oppose Noel as BLM head.

Ordinary people are powerful!

Some say that the biggest change is made at the local level, with ordinary people standing up and speaking out to impact the policies that matter to their communities. Action Utah is growing every day, but your membership only matters if you take action.

Andrea & Katie
Co-founders, Action Utah

P.S. – As we continue to build Action Utah, your support is critical. Please consider chipping in to help us keep you informed, engaged and impacting meaningful change in Utah and in the nation!

 


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